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Indo-Utsav: Celebrating the 75th Indian Independence Day in South Korea
Special Contribution
By Kumar Vikrant
Mr. Surinder Bhagat, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian Embassy to the Republic of Korea, makes a welcome address.

The preceding August 15, 2021 saw the Indian community in Korea coming together to celebrate the 75th Indian independence day through the ‘Indo-Utsav’ event organized by the Indian Students and Researchers in Korea (ISRK). ISRK, presided by Dr. Lailesh Kumar, is a non-profit voluntary organization that works as a binding thread for the Indian community in South Korea with a strong focus on assisting Indian nationals in academic and professional areas. In recent times, ISRK has been branching out as a community flag bearer to bridge the India-Korea relationship and facilitate the growth of the Indian diaspora through organizing cultural events such as the Indo-Utsav. So far, thousands of community members are associated with the ISRK platform.

The Indo-Utsav event celebrated on August 15, Sunday via a digital platform was aimed at organizing patriotic cultural activities to promote Indian values through the celebration of independence day. The event saw enthusiastic engagement from Indian and Korean nationals who participated in the rejuvenating competitions and performances involving arts, dance, and music. One of the striking highlights of the Indo-Utsav event was the collaboration with the Korean Students Association in India to celebrate the National Liberation Day of Korea in conjunction, since both the countries share the exact date for this historic day.

The Indo-Utsav event began with an enthusiastic opening remark by the ISRK community members, followed by the welcome address by Mr. Surinder Bhagat, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India to the Republic of Korea. Mr. Bhagat lauded the ISRK initiative, addressed the importance of liberty and the critical role Indian researchers and students play in bringing the Indian and Korean cultures and nationals together. His excellency Chang Jae-Bok’s (Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India) congratulatory message then followed, which reinforced the importance of Indian and Korean independence and community events, such as the Indo-Utsav.

The Indian national anthem, Jana Gana Mana, performed by Kiran and Shailee, then set the patriotic tone for the Indo-Utsav event. Following the national anthem, Shrestha Mondal described the importance of the independence day to the audience, which was then succeeded by the independence day wishes in 22 official Indian languages. Various songs, musical instruments, and dance performances by the Indian and Korean participants, including children, then serenaded the gathering. In particular, the different traditional Indian outfits showcased by Riyan and Diya won everyone’s hearts.

At suitable intervals during the Indo-Utsav event, the sponsors, including Chakraa restaurant, Asian Community News, SENTBE, and Merck Life Sciences (Korea) provided helpful information about their products to the audience. Such brand information regarding the valuable products and services enriched the audience’s overall experience. Finally, Mr. Satish Gokhale, Air India Country Head, Seoul, announced the event winners amidst loud cheers. The Indo-Utsav event then concluded following a video showcase of the participants and vote of thanks by Dr. Lailesh.

ISRK hopes that the Indo-Utsav event provided a unique perspective and welcome recreational break to the Indian and Korean community members, including children and families residing in South Korea. Hopefully, the Indian diaspora embraced their homeland from afar through the second home, Korea. ISRK wishes for the continued support of all the community members, valuable professional bodies, and respected embassies. ISRK will continue to work per its vision and mission of promoting a better life for the Indian diaspora in Korea and establishing a well-connected network of Indian nationals to serve them to the best of its ability. The complete list of the Indo-Utsav event winners has been posted on ISRK’s official website and social media pages.

The Indo-Utsav event was supported by Merck Life Sciences (Korea), Chakraa restaurant, Asian Community News, and SENTBE. Also, the Indo-Utsav event was made possible by the kind support of various Indian communities in Korea.

The article was written by Mr. Kumar Vikrant (kvikrant071@gmail.com; https://www.kumarvikrant.com/) on behalf of the president (president@isrk.in), Indian Students and Researchers in Korea (ISRK; http://www.isrk.in/). Mr. Kumar Vikrant is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul, the Republic of Korea, as well as executive member of ISRK.




 

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